Formed 2004 ... Herts 7s U14 Runners-up 2005 ... North Herts U14 team, Herts Youth Games 2005 runners-up (coached by Letchworth)... Herts Superteams U14 Runners-up 2005 ... Herts SuperTeams "Fairplay" winners 2006 ... Rochford 10s U17 Champions 2006 ... East Midlands 10s U17 Runners-up 2007 ... East Midlands 10s U17 "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... National 10s U17 5th place and "Fairplay" winners 2007 ... Herts 7s U17 Plate runners-up 2007 ... National 7s U17 Plate winners 2007 ... RFU "President's XV" Award winners 2007 ... Herts Superteams winners 2007 ... Midlands 10s U18 Runners-up 2008 ... National 10s U18 4th place 2008 ... North Herts U11 team, Herts Youth Games 2008 runners-up (coached by Letchworth girls) ... London and SE 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2008 ... Herts 7s U18s runners-up 2008 ... National 7s U18s quarter-finalists 2008 ... Gloucester City 10s U18 Bowl runner-up (6th) 2009 ... Worthing 10s U18 Plate runner-up 2009 ... National 7s U18 Plate winners 2009... Worthing 10s U15 Plate winners 2010... Worthing 10s U18 Shield winners 2010... Herts 7s U15 and U18 Bowl runners-up 2010... National 7s U18 Plate runners-up 2010...

Friday, August 01, 2008

A new sport for the internet age?

Is "blogging" (ie. writing this stuff) the new sport of the internet age?

I just ask, based on my reaction to seeing this blog hit the dizzy heights of 24 in the UK Sports Blog chart (up three from last month, and the highest climber in the top 25!). "Yay!", I thought, followed by "take that snooker!" and "eat dust, F1!" when I checked out who we'd overtaken. But a few months ago I didn't care, so where did all this wild competitiveness come from?

Early in the year Mike happened to pass on the news that we'd been placed in the top 100, which was all rather nice and pleasant and just a bit, well, mad really. A few months later idle curiosity revealed that we'd sneaked into the top 80. By the spring it was the top 50, then the 30s... When in June we hit number 26 it seemed worth a proud little logo (see right).

Then July came round and horror of horrors we fell one place to 27! Nooooooo! What had gone wrong - I know its not the rugby season, but where had we peaked too soon? Never mind, steady the ship, look at the positives, keep calm, play to your strengths. Get back out there and beat those green baize petrol-heads! So this morning was a time of sweet satisfaction

But does this mean that writing has become a competitive sport? Will there now be coaching sessions on getting your news in first, working out cunning tactics to get your article in ahead of the competition? Tactically linking to major rivals in the hope that they'll link back?

Madness. Rather fun though - and as developments go you do wonder if competitive blogging might make English GCSE ever so slightly more exciting (not a difficult task, one suspects). Why slave away over a critical analysis of Romeo and Juliet when your witty aside on ELVs could get a higher chart position? And who is to say that the ability to produce pithy and quotable one-liners isn't - in fact - a more marketable skill in the 21st century anyway?

One other thing the chart reveals is the very narrow sporting interests the UK actually has. Soccer (10 of the top 25), F1 (6), rugby(4), snooker and cricket (2 each) - the UK public really isn't interested in reading about much else. In fact the only other sports that even get into the top 100 are cycling and surfing. And only two of the top 25 are written by professionals - journalists need to look to their laurels, perhaps?

Oh - and the only blogs to concentrate on women's or girls' sport in the top 25 are both on rugby. No hockey, no netball, no tennis. Who said this was a minority sport?

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